It is true that for the agnostic world, the world in which God does not enter, celibacy is a great scandal, because it shows exactly that God is considered and experienced as reality. With the eschatological dimension of celibacy, the future world of God enters into the reality of our time. And should this disappear!?
In a certain sense, this continuous criticism against celibacy may surprise in a time when it is becoming increasingly fashionable not to get married. But this not-getting married is something totally, fundamentally different from celibacy. The avoidance of marriage is based on a will to live only for oneself, of not accepting any definitive tie, to have the life of every moment in full autonomy, to decide at any time what to do, what to take from life; and therefore a "no" to the bond, a "no" to definitiveness, to have life for oneself alone. While celibacy is just the opposite: it is a definitive "yes". It is to let oneself be taken in the hand of God, to give oneself into the hands of the Lord, into his "I". And therefore, it is an act of loyalty and trust, an act that also implies the fidelity of marriage. It is the opposite of this "no", of this autonomy that accepts no obligations, which will not enter into a bond. It is the definitive "yes" that supposes, confirms the definitive "yes" of marriage. And this marriage is the biblical form, a natural way of being man and woman, the foundation of the great Christian culture, of great cultures around the world. And if that disappears, the root of our culture will be destroyed. So celibacy confirms the "yes" of marriage with its "yes" to the future world.
-- Pope Benect XVI (Vatican: the Holy See